Lunch in Juibei

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Photos by MJ Klein Meal features 2 types of dumplings and 3 soups plus one vegetable

The other day Hui-chen and I were driving in Jubei around noon time. She asked me if I wanted to eat lunch at our favorite dumpling restaurant there, the Ding Gong. Silly Question! (Note: some of these photos are over-exposed, a classic Nikon D80 trait. I apologize for the poor quality of some of the photographs)

This is the new entrance to the restaurant.

This used to be the entrance (it’s to the right of the previous photo) but now it’s all kitchen. This place has expanded quite a bit because it’s so popular.

Hui-chen places the order. We decided to sit downstairs near the entrance. Read on and you’ll see what we got.

Like most restaurants of this type, the meal includes tea.

The food has been ordered, so Hui-chen now prepares the dipping sauce for the dumplings.

First, she adds strips of fresh sliced ginger to the small dipping bowl. Here you see her adding soy sauce to the ginger.

Next comes the dark vinegar.

Practically every place in Taiwan has their own recipe for hot sauce. This is “la yo” or hot oil, with chilies. I like how I caught the big red drop as it was going into the bowl. This hot sauce is great and matches the dumplings very well.

When you order one of the dumplings, it comes with soup. This is classic Egg Drop Soup and it’s not much different than what you get in the US, except that this soup actually has some flavor! It’s a chicken based broth and they weren’t stingy with the eggs.

Did I mention that we like soup? This is Hot & Sour Soup, Taiwan style. When ordering this soup you must always ask if there is pig or duck blood in it, as the original recipe calls for blood, and many people don’t like to eat blood products.

Finally, the dumplings arrive!

These are “shao lone tang bao” or literally “small basket soup dumplings.”

And these are classic steamed shrimp dumplings.

The reason these are called “soup” dumplings is because they have juice from the meat inside. In the English language, we wouldn’t use the word “soup” to describe the liquid, but that is the term in Chinese, so we must use it in the translation. These dumplings are quite wet so you have to be careful when you eat them because they could drip down the front of your clothing.

I thought you might enjoy a closeup of the steamed shrimp dumplings.

We ordered a plate of “gao li tsai” which is cabbage, cooked Taiwanese style. While rather bland in appearance, this dish was great.

We finished off our meal with some chicken soup. That’s right, we had 3 different soups with this meal! It is common practice to end a meal with soup.

I can’t wait to go back already!

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  1. shouldn’t the “lone” in “shao long tang bao” be basket (?) instead of dragon (?)?

  2. the word “?” in “shao long tang bao” is not just a basket, it’s a steamer made with bamboo. 🙂

  3. but that’s too long for a translation! lol but yes, thanks for explaining that to our readers. btw, i used your Romanization “lone” because i think it sounds better. thanks for the comments – they were helpful.

  4. Reading this article makes me hungry.

    Maybe there needs a warning at the beginning of the article for the people with an empty stomach. 🙂 The food looks so delicious.

  5. let me warn you then – reading our food blog and viewing our Asian Food photo set on will absolutely make you hungry!

  6. MJ.

    Now I am hungry after looking at the great pictures and deliciously looking food.

    It’s 11.15 at night here. You are an evil man!!

    Great pictures as always.


  7. I made the first post under anonymous regarding dragon. I didn’t make the post regarding steamer…. Just thought I point out the distinction.

    Anon in Pac NW

    PS. you do make people hungry for the nice looking food.

    PPS. btw is the restaurant “ding gong” or “ding fong”? 🙂

  8. Brunty, as it’s been suggested, i guess i’m going to have to implement a warning system for posts about food! haha sorry about that mate!

  9. Anon in Pac NW: well, you should use some kind of a name so you won’t get lost in the list of Anons!

    as for the name, you can just pick one. there isn’t any English in the name, and i’ve always just called it Ding Gong because that’s what it sounds like to my ear.

  10. I cannot help but yell out loud in my living room—“YOU LUCKY BA*TER!!!!!!!”

    I will get mine pretty well when I go to Taiwan at the end of the year!


  11. Nice photos, dumplings are everywhere in Taiwan, but *good* dumplings are hard to find. I live in Jhubei, but I can’t make out the location based on the store front photo ? would it be possible to post the address, or even GPS co-ordinates 🙂 Hmm, should that be geo-restauranting…

    Oh, and do they have vegetarian dumplings ?

  12. Greg, input N24 50.412’/E121 00.682′ and that should get you there. dunno about the vegetarian dumplings cause i only order the ones they are famous for. be sure and let us know what you think of the place. thanks for reading and for your comments.

  13. Cool, found it via google maps and our car GPS. As for the dumplings: pretty good I say. I try to eat vegetarian, but I’ve come to live with the fact that shrimp dumplings in Taiwan always include pork. Usually the pork flavor is the most significant for me, but not for these shrimp dumplings. Delicious.

    Thanks for blogging about this place, a good dumpling restaurant in the neighborhood is a plus.

  14. Greg, glad you found it, and i’m happy to hear your positive report. we also like the shrimp dumplings and we get them on every visit.

    just keep in mind that it’s closed on Mondays. i forgot to mention that in the blog post!

    thanks for your comments Greg.

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